Neurology Professors Just Listed the 9 Worst Habits for the Human Brain

Inactive adults may experience cognitive decline twice as fast as active adults. Studies suggest physical activity benefits the hippocampus and memory.

You don't exercise

Multiple Blue Rings

You sit around all day

Americans sitting more, often in front of a screen, may lead to brain changes and worsened memory, per 2019 AMA study.

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A diet high in fat and sugar can damage both your heart and brain, as evidenced by a 2017 Alzheimer's study. Sugary drinks >1/day can lead to smaller brain volume & lower memory scores.


You eat fast food and drink sugary beverages

Loneliness is linked to cognitive decline, but staying engaged helps maintain cognitive health and lowers dementia risk by providing purpose and meaning.

You spend a lot of time alone

Skimp on sleep and you risk fogginess and long-term mental decline. Lack of sleep and exercise impacts focus, says Dr. Park.

You cheat on sleep

Several studies have connected neuroticism to cognitive deterioration and, in some cases, an increased risk of dementia. 

You stress a lot

Multiple Blue Rings

You don't take time for play

activities like board games, reading, dancing & playing musical instruments reduced risk of dementia in people over 75. Published in New England Journal of Medicine.

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You don't watch your blood pressure

Maintaining a normal blood pressure is key for heart & brain health; high/low can damage brain cells, harden/narrow blood vessels & disrupt neurotransmitters.


Vaccines may reduce risk of Alzheimer's. A 2022 study found that those 65+ who had a flu shot had reduced risk of dementia compared to unvaccinated.

You skip vaccines